by Chris Gacek
January 19, 2012
Bartholomew Sullivan (Scripps Howard News Service) has written an important article raising the possibility that the student college debt/loan issue may become a significant issue in the presidential race:
Outstanding student loan debt — which exceeds $1 trillion, more than what Americans owe on credit cards — is likely to be a major political issue this election year as students and their parents question the rising cost and value of a college education.
Sullivan presents some alarming statistics about loan defaults:
The rate of defaults rose from 7 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009, the latest official figures available. Thats 320,194 of the 3.6 million people who began repayment that year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The rate in 2009 is about one in twelve a high rate. Concern runs from the political Right to the Left. As a Univ. of Pittsburgh English professor, William Scott, associated with the Occupy movement observed, Schools keep raising their tuitions because they know their students have easy access to these student loans. It’s almost become a type of predatory lending. At the same time, Rep. Ron Paul believes the loan programs should be abolished because they are “an absolute failure.”